Sansar’s Creator Academy: Hall of Materials launches

Creator Academy: Hall of Materials

Linden Lab has launched its Creator Academy: Hall of Materials experience. It is intended to help creators explore and better understand the materials capabilities of Sansar, learn about the various shaders and physics materials using interactive kiosks, and how texture values interact and impact one another.

The hall comprises two sections; the first covers media surfaces, stereoscopic media, UV animation materials, emissive materials, standard materials, and metals. Overhead, spheres float as a physics demonstration. The second, rotunda-like section, provides insight into audio materials and materials layering.

Creator Academy: Hall of Materials

Kiosks provide overviews of specifics aspects of using mateirals, and some of these are are interactive. In the rotunda for example, walk across the different surface types (sand, water, ceramic, glass, carpet, etc) – to trigger the corresponding sound. With other, proximity might trigger a level of interaction.

However, it has to be said that some of the interactive elements appear to be more geared towards those in VR mode – as indicated in the introductory video. Some kiosks, for example, use panels of buttons which are currently largely inaccessible to those in Desktop mode. While this may well change as Desktop mode interactivity improves, it nevertheless limits the effectiveness of Hall of Materials as learning experience right now.

Creator Academy: Hall of Materials

Also, while I favour tutorials, it has to be said that Sansar’s very nature perhaps limits the effectiveness of experiences like this. Unless you tweak the client or have multiple accounts, you can’t visit the experience and simultaneously try things out directly for yourself in Sansar’s Edit mode, and fix concepts in your head by doing so. As such, I did wonder if the effort in building the experience might not have been better served in producing a series of short videos on the subject matter, perhaps in the manner of Torley’s famous SL TuTORials.

Given these points, Hall of Materials should perhaps be viewed as an experiment in teaching / learning more than anything else, and it’ll be interesting to see where the concept goes and how it develops. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with the introductory video, which provides a basic overview of the experience, in its own somewhat “novel” approach.

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SL project updates week #46: server viewer

Khodovarikha; Inara Pey, October 2017, on Flickr Khodovarikhablog post

Server Deployments

  • There was not deployment on the Main (SLS) channel on Tuesday, November 14th, leaving servers running simulator version #17.10.06.509394.
  • On Wednesday, November 15th, the three RC channels should be updated with a new server maintenance package #17.11.11.510664, comprising internal fixes and a user-visible fix for BUG-139176, “Issue with OBJECT_REZZER_KEY reporting incorrectly after linking and delinking prims.”

SL Viewer

There have been no SL viewer updates since the end of week #45, leaving the current viewer pipelines as follows:

  • Current Release version 5.0.8.329115, dated September 22, promoted October 13 – formerly the “Moonshine” Maintenance RC.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Maintenance RC viewer, version 5.0.9.329795 November 8.
    • Alex Ivy 64-bit viewer, version 5.1.0.510354, November 2 (still dated Sept 5 on the wiki page).
    • Voice RC viewer, version 5.0.8.328552, October 20 (still dated Sept 1 on the wiki page).
  • Project viewers:
  • Obsolete platform viewer version 3.7.28.300847, dated May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7. This viewer will remain available for as long as reasonable, but will not be updated with new features or bug fixes.

Animesh Mod Keys Proposal

One of the major subjects of discussion with Animesh is enabling attachments to be added to existing Animesh objects. In short, many pets and characters are created as No Modify objects, to help protect their capabilities. Thus, as No Mod objects, Animesh characters cannot be accessorized (the owner of an Animesh horse cannot add  / remove a saddle from an Animesh horse, for example). As Piscine Mackenzie explains in the forum, with highlights by Medhue Simoni, making Animesh pets  / characters Modify opens them to the risk of exploitation.

To this end, the Content Creation User Group has been a focus of discussion on overcoming this problem (see here and here). One proposal for handling the issue, which would also allow for broader capabilities, has been put forward via feature request BUG-139168. However, this could take some time to implement, delaying Animesh.

As an alternative, Vir Linden put forward the idea of a scripted mod key capability which would allow attachments to be linked and unlinked from an Animesh object, and more recently he has expanded on this idea with an outline proposal. This could provide a suitable foundation for allowing Animesh to move forward with a link / unlink capability, allowing further capabilities for a broader range of use cases to be added later.

Vir’s proposal will most likely be a core subject of discussion at the next Content Creation User Group meeting on Thursday, November 14th, 2017.

Breedable Issues

The HTTP updates earlier in 2017 resulted in issues with ABC horses being unable to give birth, which came down to the volume and timing of requests being made by the horses (see BUG-134275). The issue was eventually fixed by the horse maker making some changes in the number and timing of the requests sent by each horse, and by a server-side change in how the requests were authenticated.

However, issues have been noted on some regions breeding Stray Cats. It’s not clear if this  a similar issue, or something else. Those experiencing similar issues might want to raise a JIRA so the Lab can investigate and advise whether the creators of their breedable animals need to make an adjustment to their scripting.